We normally only cover theatre here, but those of you who have followed us from the beginning may be aware that long before I had the opportunity to cover theatre I wrote about music (at the now defunct Call Upon the Author). I was lucky enough to cover my favourite band The Tragically Hip a couple of times and in 2013 I interviewed their lead singer Gord Downie. He was then, and remains, a huge inspiration for me as a writer and as a person.
Last night Gord lost his battle with brain cancer. For me a light has gone out, so here is the transcript of the interview I was so lucky to have with Gord! Continue reading
Ian McKellen as Lear with Phil Daniels as the Fool and Sinead Cusack as Kent.
Way back in the early days of Sitting In The Cheap Seats we had our first opportunity to review a Shakespeare play. In Chichester Festival Theatre’s cosy Minerva space we saw Frank Langella lead a great cast and firmly add to our love of the Bard! Fast forward a few years and we’re back at the Minerva, once again awaiting an award winning actor to take on arguably the finest of roles! Continue reading
It’s somehow fitting that the last Shakespeare of Emma Rice’s final (summer) season is King Lear. A play that shows us how the established world can change based on one rash decision will certainly have some resonance at a venue who made the decision to terminate Rice’s employment as Artistic Director so early on. Continue reading
Jez Butterworth and Sam Mendes are names pretty much guaranteed to make any theatregoing regular pay attention, both are synonymous with high quality productions (Butterworth’s Jerusalem regularly crops up among best play lists while Mendes’ list of director credits is too long to replay here) and they worked together on Spectre, the most recent movie in the James Bond franchise. When two names like that come together you get a production that transcends theatre and becomes an event! Continue reading
As a regular theatre goer I’m often asked by friends what plays and musicals I’d most like to see a production of… not the shows I just haven’t had a chance to catch but the ones that don’t really get to see the light of day. Somehow in the past year The Union Theatre has managed to tick two off from right at the top of the list. Last year’s The Fix and now my secret passion, the musical I have always wanted to see… Blondel! Continue reading
Stephen Lowe’s Touched is a curious play… flat on the page, it comes alive on the stage! Lowe’s story of a trio of sisters, their friend and family and the curious time between VE day and the end of the war perfectly highlights the struggles these women had to face, and the freedom they were about to lose! Continue reading
Bright sunshine, a warm breeze and a gleaming classic American car greeted theatregoers in Chichester ahead of the press night for Sweet Bird of Youth, a lesser known but intriguing play from Tennessee Williams. Continue reading
Josette Simon and Antony Byrne.
Photo by Helen Maybanks
After the heated political tension of Julius Caesar, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rome season continues with a foray into Egypt for Antony & Cleopatra. The mood here is, initially at least, much lighter than the previous visit to Mark Antony but there are still tensions in Rome! Continue reading
Andrew Woodall as Caesar.
photo by Helen Maybanks
It’s an accepted cliché that, whatever the prevailing political mood there is a Shakespeare play that adequately reflects, comments on or holds a mirror up to it. Like all the best clichés it has become so ingrained in the consciousness of theatregoers because it is largely true. Thus at a time when we worry about the power of world leaders like Trump and the ability of political parties with extremist views to gain momentum Julius Caesar seems incredibly apt. Continue reading
A brand new version of the Tim Rice musical comedy Blondel (long a guilty pleasure of those of us here in the Cheap Seats), which follows the trials and triumphs of an ambitious minstrel in King Richard the Lionheart’s court, will get its London premiere at the Union Theatre from Wednesday 21 June – Saturday 15 July! Continue reading